Years before, when he was in his late teens, Jan (Hagen) was implicated in the death of a local boy, but his refusal to discuss the matter makes the true nature of his involvement unclear. After completing his jail sentence, Jan gets a second chance at life when his old town's church hires him to play the organ. Soon, he even finds himself in a budding romance with the beautiful priest, Anna (Petersen), who has a young boy. Just when it seems Jan can finally move on, he receives an unexpected visit from the mother of his victim (Dyrholm) that threatens to destroy his fragile new life.
Erik Poppe's smart, understated puzzler is at once sad, disturbing, and surprisingly gripping. As the film gradually unfolds, two rich layers of mystery are revealed: first, what really happened in Jan's deep, dark past, and second, whether this young man's promising new life can hold with such a large, unsightly skeleton in his closet. All the performances resonate here, but Hagen's restrained turn steals the show: though he says little, pain and hurt radiate from his core, and we desperately want him to heal. Jump in, this "Water" is fine.